CKRAFT Interview 30/09/23
MM: Can you tell us about your band and who’s your biggest influence?
Charles (CKRAFT’s bandleader): Hi there, thanks a lot for having us today! We're CKRAFT, a five piece instrumental Jazz-Metal band.
The band is formed of Théo Nguyen Duc Long on tenor saxophone, Antoine Morisot on guitar, Marc Karapetian on bass and William Bur on drums. I play augmented accordion, which is an accordion with electronic sensors, allowing me to play synths directly on it! I call it "augmented accordion”. We're based in Paris (France)
We’re heavily influenced by melodies from the Middle Ages, and by the crushing riffs of the Metal bands we love, such as Gojira and Meshuggah.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from?
Charles: I grew up listening to metal, it was the only music that would really make sense to me as a teenager. I'd spend hours listening to KoRn, Slipknot, and especially Gojira. Their album "The Link" really changed my perception of music and I still listen to it as an adult with the same passion and awe. Later in my formative years, I saw a jazz big band play live and I was blown away by the exuberant freedom that this music was projecting from the stage. Sooner or later I had to blend these genres!
MM: What would you say is your band’s favourite song?
Charles: I love all of our album's tracks (CKRAFT 'Epic Discordant Vision': bfan.link/epic-discordant-vision-1) but I'd say the first one, called "The Loudest Victim", means a lot to me because it's the first jazz-metal composition that I ever wrote.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2023?
Charles: We've been doing quite a few concerts last year, with a fall tour that started in Germany and took part mostly in France.
This year we're supporting some awesome bands including the legends "Shining" from Norway
Here are the next ones in 2023 :
Oct.1 - SHINING + CKRAFT (Savigny, FRANCE)
Oct.3 - Hypno5e + CKRAFT (Paris, FRANCE)
Oct.20 - Les Tambours Du Bronx + CKRAFT (Montbeliard, FRANCE)
In general all the infos appear on our social medias, it's the best way to stay updated on the band's latest news! https://linktr.ee/ckraft.music
MM: What can we expect from CKRAFT live?
Charles: you can expect exactly the same music as on the album - what we play on stage, is exactly the same music as the one we record. We have a strict "if we don't play it, we don't record it" policy. We also worked on a light show, we like when things are very epic and powerful, so you can also expect the lights to match the music!
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring?
Charles: the best thing is that you get to share your music with people, and directly witness its effect on them. When you're on stage and the audience is screaming and cheering, and when people come and tell you how happy they are that they discovered your band, that they've been looking for this kind of sound for a long time, and so on, it's just the most wonderful feeling. Being away from home and always on the move on the other hand can be quite tiring, it doesn't necessarily suit everyone, and if you want things to run smoothly you have to be extra careful about your sleep, hydration, physical condition... But nowadays you can easily find answers to these questions from YouTube interviews and all kinds of internet content. I recently discovered the "digital tour bus" channel, they follow metal musicians on tour and ask them about their everyday life when touring. A gold mine of informations!
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies?
Charles: I would love CKRAFT to share the stage with Imperial Triumphant, Car Bomb and Meshuggah! I think the diversity and combination of different ways of approaching Metal would be incredible if we do a single evening with these bands, play everything in a row. But for now, this concert only takes place in my wildest dreams haha
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why?
Charles: That'd be the first time I saw Meshuggah live. My schedule made it impossible for me to catch them in Paris where I live so I especially traveled to Brussels to crash a friend's couch for one night. My only purpose was to witness the immutable gods of Metal on stage so that I can die happy afterwards.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with CKRAFT?
Charles: Finding these people and creating what is now my second family! We had a few successful concerts but the greatest achievement, I think, is to manage to be happily together on the road. I hope that it will last for many years!
MM: Which are your two favourite Albums of all time?
Charles: I already mentioned Gojira's "The Link" that blew my mind as a kid, so I'll quote another record that I discovered a bit later but that is probably one of the CDs that I listened to the most in my entire life, that's Mr.Bungle's "California". The compositions, the arrangements, the production and the sound design were just incredible at that time, and are still incredible today. The way Mike Patton and his friends squash and mix together different genres of music with abrupt but brilliant transitions made so much sense to me, and really encouraged me to do my very own thing. if you ask me, I feel like it’s a necessity to write this music, I really need to break boundaries and expectations, because I know how great I feel when a music manages to impress of surprise me as a listener.
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
Charles: I felt more alive than I've ever been! Having a band as a teenager should be part of the national education system haha
MM: Growing up which bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall?
Charles: Never really had posters actually! I was more of a T-shirts guy. I had this Opeth T-shirt that I still own, from the album "Ghost Reveries" : another masterpiece!
MM - Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person?
Charles: I really have no idea! To give a strict and unbiased answer to that question you'd have to discuss with a Metal historian! I have a feeling Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" will show up in the list haha
At least this classic oldie still does the trick on me, even if it's not from my generation and not the first Metal record I laid hands on, I have the feeling it’s a major boot in the face in the whole music history.
MM - What's the most important thing to the band right now?
Charles: Staying together, and finding more gigs. Between you and me... we're also recording a new album! More on that soon, on our social medias!
MM:If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
Charles: We're working on Car Bomb's "The Sentinel" as we speak, and we did a version of Lamb of God’s “Blacken The Cursed Sun” last year. My idea is that each time we start working on a new repertoire of ours, there will be a cover included!
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
Charles: I think you never heard anything like that, truly. A metal band that features tenor sax and accordion with electronic sensors… Can you even picture it when I put it like this? [laughs]
MM: Four words to describe CKRAFT Final Words for your fans and our readers
Charles: If I want to stay consistent I only have three words actually! “Epic Discordant Vision”: it’s the title of our first full-length album and these three words are really our music in a nutshell! Again thanks a lot for having us today and keep on sharing young Metal bands work, it really means the world to us!